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‘Shazam: Fury of the Gods,’ poor reviews, poor box office

While DC has been in an awkward position as of late, it seemed like Shazam and its star Zachary Levi might be the one character/actor pairing to survive the transition from the DCEU, as the actor hinted long before it was released. Was. The sequel, Fury of the Gods.

But now that both the reviews and box office returns are up, it’s looking less and less likely to happen, and Shazam could go the way of its rival, Black Adam.

Review scores are, first of all, bad. The original Shazam was the third most reviewed film in the DCEU with 90%. The sequel, same star, same director, is 53%, only above the original Suicide Squad, Batman v Superman, Justice League, and Black Adam, which had 39%. The audience score is a very solid 87% and a B+ at CinemaScore, but what matters most is the box office, where the film appears to have performed worst.

The film is tracking to open extremely poorly for the weekend at $30 million, well below its own projections, well below the first film’s $53.5 million debut, and PG-13 mainstream superheroes in the Marvel or DC universes. Absolutely terrible for a movie. Despite good reviews, James Gunn’s Suicide Squad opened poorly in its opening weekend with $26 million, but that film had two additional factors working against it, its R-rating and the terrible earlier Suicide Squad film of the nearly identical name. .

The original Shazam, in contrast, reviewed well and performed well enough to warrant a sequel, grossing $366 million globally. Not incredible by most superhero standards, but solid enough in the DCEU at the time. This sequel, Fury of the Gods, fared less dramatically.

Why is the film doing so poorly? First of all, I think we’re in a strangely transitory time in DC, where there’s some confusion about the destruction of current canon and where things are headed. Second, Shazam still isn’t quite an A-lister compared to Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, or Aquaman. Third, the movie just… didn’t look very appealing. With the arrival of Black Adam, everyone thought that a Shazam sequel would obviously feature the two adversaries, but The Rock declined to do so, instead setting his sights on Superman, a gamble that paid off brilliantly. moved back. So instead Shazam was forced to fight the low-level villains, the Daughters of Atlas (albeit with good actresses, Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu), which just… didn’t look great in the preview.

Black Adam, much to its own detriment, still did more than double Shazam: Fury of the Gods in its opening weekend with $67 million, and if that film still “underperforms” The Rock’s detailed take on the character would be: That’s enough to kill future plans, so you have to wonder if this iteration of Shazam has any future in the new DC movie/TV era.

Here’s the saving grace…James Gunn can essentially do everything he wants to. He is a personal friend of Zach Levy and has praised the new film online. Though even with that, I’d be surprised to see a third new Shazam movie greenlit rather than say, Gunn calls Levi to guest star as Shazam in another production. But we’ll have to see. Regardless, the overall news here isn’t all good.

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